Damon Albarn has shared that Blur will be going on a hiatus until further notice with the frontman saying “it’s too much for me”.
The band – comprised of Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree – reunited after an eight-year hiatus and released their ninth studio album ‘The Ballad Of Darren‘ earlier this year. Last month, they played their last scheduled shows together in South America.
In a new interview with French publication Les Inrockuptibles (via Far Out Magazine), Albarn revealed that the band will be taking a break yet again until further notice. “It is time to wrap up this campaign,” he said. “It’s too much for me. It was the right thing to do and an immense honour to play these songs again, spend time with these guys, make an album, blah-blah-blah.”
He continued: “I’m not saying I won’t do it again, it was a beautiful success, but I’m not dwelling on the past.”
As for what the future looks like for him, Albarn shared that he will be working on an “opera which will be presented in Paris next year,” as well as reuniting with Jamie Hewlett in India to “start working on a new Gorillaz album.”
Albarn is not the only Blur member who is spending the next year busy with his side projects. Coxon will be heading out with his band The Waeve – comprised of him and former Pipettes member-turned-Mark Ronson collaborator and singer-songwriter Rose Elinor Dougall – on a UK arena tour as opening support for Elbow.
In a four-star review of Blur’s LP ‘The Ballad Of Darren’, NME shared: “Unlike many of their peers, there has never been a timelessness to a Blur album – that’s a good thing. When you listen to ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ now, you can feel disdain for the culture that surrounded them, or the raw confusion of heartbreak on 1999’s ‘13’; they have a way of transporting you to a precise moment or emotion.”
They continued: “It’s why ‘The Ballad of Darren’ is so memorable and touching: you can feel it, everything, in every line sung or note played. Speaking to NME last week, Rowntree says that when they were recording, “everything we tried, worked”, and that “magic was in the air”. It is keenly felt here; may it never fade away.”
In other news, Albarn teamed up with Beck last month for a live cover of Gorillaz’ ‘The Valley Of The Pagans’ during Beck’s Primavera Sound set.
“This is a song we wrote together during COVID times,” said Beck, as Albarn walked on stage to thunderous applause, which gave way to a spontaneous, prolonged crowd chant. “We don’t need to play the song,” Beck quipped. “This is called ‘Valley Of The Pagans’.”